Serial dependence in timing perception

J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 2019 Jan;45(1):100-110. doi: 10.1037/xhp0000591.


Recent sensory history affects subsequent experience. Behavioral results have demonstrated this effect in two forms: repeated exposure to the same sensory input produces negative aftereffects wherein sensory stimuli like those previously experienced are judged as less like the exposed stimulation, while singular exposures can produce positive aftereffects wherein judgments are more like previously experienced stimulation. For timing perception, there is controversy regarding the influence of recent exposure-both singular and repeated exposure produce apparently negative aftereffects-often referred to as temporal recalibration and rapid temporal recalibration, respectively. While negative aftereffects have been found following repeated exposure for all timing tasks, following a single exposure, they have only been demonstrated using synchrony judgments (SJs). Here, we examine the influence of a single presentation-serial dependence for timing-for standard timing tasks: SJ, temporal order judgments, and magnitude estimation judgments. We found that serial dependence produced apparently negative aftereffects in SJ, but positive aftereffects in temporal order judgment and magnitude estimation judgment. We propose that these findings, and those following repeated exposure, can be reconciled within a framework wherein negative aftereffects occur at sensory layers, consistent with classical depictions of sensory adaptation, and Bayesian-like positive aftereffects operate across different, higher, decision levels. These findings are consistent with the aftereffects known from other perceptual dimensions and provide a general framework for interpreting positive (serial dependence) and negative (sensory adaptation) aftereffects across different tasks. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Time Perception / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*
  • Young Adult